Coinciding with their 10th birthday on November 14, 2019, Nottingham Contemporary have released an enhanced virtual reality experience developed by V21 Artspace of their exhibition, Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Act 1 (2018–19).
Still I Rise explores the history of resistance and alternative forms of living from the perspective of gender. With over 100 exhibits by some 50 practitioners, Still I Rise looks at resistance globally, from intimate acts to large-scale uprisings, from the late 19th century to the present and beyond. Grounded in intersectional queer and feminist thinking, the project discards linear models of progress in order to connect a multiplicity of voices across space and time. Composed of several iterations, Act 2 was at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea (2019), and Act 3 is presented at Arnolfini, Bristol, until December 15, 2019.
Nottingham Contemporary’s fully 3D-rendered, interactive interpretation of Still I Rise extends the exhibition’s aim to broaden discussions around gender and resistance, and to represent international perspectives. It is free to download across Oculus Go and HTC Vive, and can also be viewed via web browsers, with versions for mobile devices due in December 2019.
The fully-immersive VR experience centres on the gallery “A Spell: Feminism Beyond Humanism,” which concerns rituals, subject-making and reinvention as strategies of resistance. It includes fully interactive artworks, including new commissions by Ad Minoliti, Osias Yanov and Jesse Jones, as well as works by Tai Shani, Bruno Pelassy and Jeneen Frei Njootli
The experience includes a video archive of the Public Programme events that took place during the exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary. This includes a three-day gathering titled “Who Must Be Free Themselves Must Strike the Blow”, which presented multiple voices questioning the production of feminist discourse, resistance strategies, gender abolition and more.
This VR release coincides with the tenth anniversary of Nottingham Contemporary. Since opening, more than two million people have visited more than 60 exhibitions of international contemporary art, as well as 1,000 free-to-attend events, talks and educational programmes. Nottingham Contemporary was shortlisted for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019.
The VR experience was developed by V21 Artspace as part of a research and development programme supported by The Space, an agency that supports the UK arts and cultural sector to make great art and reach new audiences using digital media, content and platforms.
Still I Rise is a collaboration between Nottingham Contemporary and the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea. It has been curated by Irene Aristizábal (Formerly Head of Exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary, now Head of Curatorial & Public Practice at BALTIC), Rosie Cooper (De La Warr Pavilion) and Cédric Fauq (Nottingham Contemporary) with the support of Phoebe Cripps, Emma Gamble, Effy Harle, DaeNyce’ Rabain, Abi Spinks and Ben Urban.
Exhibiting artists and collectives include: Amina Ahmed, Barby Asante, Alice Constance Austin, Xenobia Bailey, Glenn Belverio (Glennda Orgasm), Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Carolina Caycedo, Judy Chicago, Phyllis Christopher, Jackie Collins and Pat Garrett, Blondell Cummings, Feminist Land Art Retreat, Guo Fengyi, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Chiara Fumai, Eduardo Gil, Anna Halprin, Margaret Harrison, Jesse Jones, Hayv Kahraman, Corita Kent, Donna Kukama, Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz Starus, Ellen Lesperance, Zoe Leonard, Mary Lowndes, Alex Martinis Roe, Ana Mendieta, Louise Michel, Ad Minoliti, Senga Nengudi, Ni Una Menos, Okwui Okpokwasili, 0rphan Drift, Bruno Pelassy, Faith Ringgold, Lala Rukh, Zorka Ságlová, Victoria Santa Cruz, See Red Women’s Workshop, Tai Shani, Pamela Singh, Terence Smith (Joan Jett Blakk), Linda Stupart, Ramaya Tegegne, Jala Wahid, Faith Wilding, Osías Yanov.